Carlsbad students schooled on e-bike dangers

The City of Carlsbad has issued a state of emergency because of the rise in bike & e-bike crashes

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E-bikes are fast, fun and convenient, but they can also be dangerous.

“Me personally, I was injured. I was doing something stupid and learned my lesson. I’ve changed,“ said Isaiah Wheyland.

Wheyland is one of the Carlsbad teens who filled Sage Creek High School’s auditorium Monday afternoon for a back-to-school bike and e-bike safety course put on by the Carlsbad Police Department and Carlsbad High School District.

Citing a 233% increase in traffic collisions involving bikes and e-bikes since 2019, the city of Carlsbad declared a state of emergency last year. It’s a move that helped increase resources for infrastructure, enforcement and safety, like the course at Sage Creek High.

The one-hour course helped school teens on the rules of the road when on two wheels, as well as Carlsbad-specific bike laws.

Students in the district are now required to take a safety course in order to get a school bike permit.

“One of the things that we’re noticing is that young kids don’t know all the rules of the road because they don’t have licenses yet. So we just want to cover some of the basic aspects of roadway safety," explained Officer Ricardo Huerta.

California currently bans kids younger than 16 from riding certain e-bikes capable of reaching speeds of up to 28 mph.

There's also a bill before the state legislature that would prohibit kids under 12 from riding e-bikes and require an online test and license.

The course also addressed the uptick in fires related to lithium-ion batteries. The fire department offered these tips:

  • Buy a bike that comes from a listed national laboratory. Same goes for replacement batteries and chargers.
  • Always use the charger made specifically for the bike.
  • Keep an eye on the battery while it's charging and store e-bike batteries outside of your living area, like in a garage or outside.
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